As part of the year-long celebratory programmes of Bangladesh High Commission, Abuja, Nigeria to observe the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, a discussion was held on ‘‘Bangabandhu’s Thoughts on International Economic System and Bangladesh’s Development’’ in the conference hall of the Mission on 16 December, 2020.
The discussion focused on Bangabandhu’s aspiration for just economic world as well as his vision for inclusive and equitable development. Dr. Somadina Anene, Vice President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and Chairman of the Abuja Trade Centre, Mr. Bidosh Chandra Barman, First Secretary and Acting High Commissioner, Bangladesh High Commission, Abuja, Nigeria, Captain Hamidu Usman Jaffeji, President of Nigerian-Bangladeshi Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) and Mr. Bob M. Achanya, President of Nigeria-Bangladesh Business and Technology Forum (NBBTF) took part in the discussion. The event was attended by almost one hundred guests including chamber leaders, CEOs, entrepreneurs and journalists.
Welcoming the guests, Mr. Bidosh Chandra Barman, Acting High Commissioner mentioned that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had aspiration for an equitable international economic system which would ensure the sovereignty of each country over its natural resources. Mr. Barman also mentioned that Bangabandhu had urged the world leaders for maintaining the international responsibility to make sure every one’s human rights and dignity in the world. Bangabandhu stressed on the need for international rights, negotiations and peaceful environment for the elimination of economic crisis, Mr. Barman added. Focusing on Bangabandhu’s thoughts on international trade and tariff system, the Acting High Commissioner mentioned that Bangabandhu wanted such an international system where trade of the developing countries would not be worsened due to policies of the developed countries. Bangabandhu didn’t want a world ‘where a few islands of prosperity are surrounded by oceans of misery’, Mr. Barman added.
Highlighting on the Development Philosophy of Bangabandhu, the Acting High Commissioner informed that Bangabandhu dreamed of a socio-economic system free of exploitation and deprivation. Focusing on the initiatives taken by Bangabandhu for building the ‘Golden Bengal’, he mentioned that Bangabandhu prioritized on agrarian reforms, industrial economy, five year plan and balanced relations with foreign countries, among others. Mr. Barman also urged the Nigerian investors to invest in Bangladesh while highlighting the recent development journey of Bangladesh under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
In his remarks, the Chief Guest Dr. Somadina Anene mentioned that Bangabandhu not only fought for independence of Bangladesh but also supported the struggle of oppressed and deprived people of Africa and beyond. He added that Bangabandhu wanted a just economic system for economic emancipation of mankind. Focusing on Bangladesh-Nigeria relations, the Vice President of the ACCI said that both Bangladesh and Nigeria are lands of opportunities for investors and importers while he urged the Bangladesh High Commission in Abuja to facilitate the signing of an MoU between the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and an appropriate chamber in Bangladesh. Highlighting the possible areas of cooperation, Mr. Anene mentioned that both Bangladesh and Nigeria can collaborate in the fields of agriculture, textiles, transport and ICT.
On his part, Mr. Jaffeji mentioned that Bangabandhu was not only a friend of people of Bangladesh but also friend of people across the world while adding that Bangabandhu fought for political and economic freedom of people. Underlining the importance of bilateral trade, the President of the NBCC mentioned that Bangladesh and Nigeria can explore the potential areas of cooperation while adding that Nigeria can learn a lot about textile industry from Bangladesh. Focusing on Bangabandhu’s thoughts on international cooperation, Mr. Bob M. Achanya mentioned that Bangabandhu is still relevant for mankind.
Speaking on the economic development of Bangladesh, the President of the NBBTF, Mr Bob Achanya noted that Nigeria can take advantage of Bangladesh’s development surprises while urging Bangladeshi investors to invest in Nigeria in order to tap the trade and investment opportunities available in African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) of the USA.
At the end, the Acting High Commissioner handed over a commemorative postage stamp marking the ‘Mujib Year’ to the Vice President of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry. A number of participants also took part in the interactive session and remembered Bangabandhu’s contribution with due respect while appreciating Bangladesh’s development in recent times.
(BHC Media Unit)